The garden

Our apple tree has already got a load of apples on it.  If I were a better, more committed gardener, I would thin them out.  However, I’m not so I won’t.

Apples – these should be ready before October
Guelder rose has berries
I love cotoneaster – this is covered in bees. It will look super when the berries are out

Unfortunately, our carrots aren’t doing very well.  They were looking great but it seems that they occupy the easiest spot for the blackbirds to dig up worms. So the blackbirds have dug up all but six carrot plants.  My husband’s mum suggested that we put chicken wire over it (which we may do next year).


The weekend before last, I repotted my foxglove seedlings.  This was actually trickier than usual because they’d done so well; the trays were covered in little plants.  In the end, about half were repotted.

Repotted seedlings in the cold frame
Seedlings in a shady bit of the garden (there wasn’t room for this tray in the cold frame)

The rest were planted throughout the garden.  In particular, I have a corner of the back garden that is a bit difficult – it’s underneath some trees and gets a lot of shade.  I hope the seedlings I put in do okay.

Tricky spot

My daughter helped me decide which seedlings to put in and where.  She quite enjoyed that.

Garden at the end of May

French lavender
Bottom of the garden
Geranium Phaeum
Blue geranium – this didn’t flower last year but it is looking super this year
Blue geranium from the back
Californian lilac
Honeysuckle and clematis – this covers a really ugly wooden fence
Wildflower patch

Foxgloves 2017

My foxgloves are also looking rather pretty.  Most of them are in the lower garden, which was where I’d put the smaller plants (the larger seedings had gone in the wildflower patch – these flowered last year).  It doesn’t really fit in with the original “Japanese” theme of the lower garden but never mind.  Foxgloves are in flower for a short time and it is wonderful when they are.

I’m sure that you know this already but foxgloves are really poisonous.  If you touch them, please wash your hands afterwards (although, to be fair, this is a good idea whenever you’ve been gardening).

The bees love them
It’s unusual for white foxgloves to get this tall
I just love this colour
Foxgloves at the back

Foxgloves in the lower garden

Rose garden

My roses seem to be doing rather well.  They aren’t fully flowering yet (there are loads of rosebuds yet to blossom) but the flowers that are there are looking very pretty indeed.  They’re also quite fragrant – the rain has done them good.

Gertrude Jekyll
Gertrude Jekyll
Claire Austen
Claire Austen
Munstead Wood
Charlotte – not yet in flower
Anne Boleyn
William Shakespeare
Gertrude Jekyll – this seems the best flowering
Rose garden

The lavender has lots of bracts but isn’t yet flowering.  This is probably a good thing – it tends to be the last thing that flowers and once that is done, that is it (more or less) for the summer.

Thyme is flowering
Giant fennel

I got the roses from David Austen a couple of years ago – I planted them as bare root plants in February / March (it was drizzling at the time).


I read a column in The Times today by Rod Liddle (called “Greetings from Corbynia, home of yak cheese and grinding poverty. Wish we weren’t here”).  I know that not all of you will have access to this article – The Times is behind a paywall – but this article is about Islington.  It irritated me no end so I am going to RANT about it here.

  1. “… the bistros doing an excellent trade in iced vegan coeliac-friendly lattes”.  All lattes (in fact all coffee) should be coeliac-friendly – I can see no reason to put gluten in a latte.  Friends of ours have a daughter who is coeliac – it is a real (incredibly inconvenient) condition, not an excuse to be poncy.
  2. “Islington North is safe for Labour, whether the candidate is Corbyn or a pig’s bladder on a stick (which is what they have in Islington South and Finsbury. Yes, Emily Thornberry).” Emily Thornberry is my MP.  I am quite irritated with her so I’ll let this go.
  3. “In the leafiest bits of Islington the average house will cost you not far shy of £2m”.  Ha ha HAAAAA!  In the very leafiest bits (not mine), a house will cost a lot more than this.  Check out Zoopla.
  4. “…yet there is enormous poverty in the borough … two-thirds of residents don’t own a car”.  Not owning a car is not necessarily a sign of deprivation, particularly in the centre of a city.  My parents live in the centre of Brighton, are definitely not poor and don’t own a car.  It’s a hassle that they can avoid by getting taxis.  In fact, the father of a boy I went to school with lived for part of the year in France – when he came back to Brighton (and managed to park in front of his house), he would then refuse to move his car until it was time to go back to France.  Otherwise, he’d have had to look for another parking space.
  5. “Upper Street is the kind of place where Waitrose actually lowers the tone”.  No it isn’t.  There’s a Wetherspoon on Upper Street.

I’ll stop whining now.  This probably isn’t a very interesting blog post, particularly if you live nowhere near north London.

Anyway, here is a picture of a demonstration that went on outside the Town Hall a few days ago.

Pensioners who want everyone to stop being horrible about Jeremy Corbyn